Today I read a BBC article which although by no means conclusive demonstrates why privatisation has to have a role in the UK. The story demonstrates the early successes of a private healthcare firm called Circle. Circle is a co-operative organisation owned by its employees chiefly its medical staff who are placed in leadership and management positions to define the objectives of the organisation.
Earlier in 2012 they were given the unenviable ten year task of rescuing and rehabilitating the debt ridden and failing Hinchingbrooke hospital. After six months, NHS officials have already acknowledged that improvements are being made and that the chief priority is to ensure that this continues in a sustainable manner. The chief concerns come amongst the union members of Unison who are anticipating ‘unfair’ staff cuts.
Well pardon me for pointing out the obvious but if staff are no longer required then why are we to keep them on? Surely, if they are an added cost which provides no value for patient care then it is clear ignorance and poor business judgement to keep them on is it not?
The role of Circle is pivotal and groundbreaking because if it succeeds it represents the necessary relationship between the public and private sectors. It demonstrates that a successful healthcare model can be implemented which maintains free healthcare services for the public whilst being delivered at the exceptional and profitable standards of the private sectors.
The NHS as a public sector body has developed a culture of malaise and bureaucracy. Where middle management is entrenched in a battle to meet government targets through any means possible regardless of the views of clinical staff who serve the nation on the frontline. What the private sector in its unashamed hunt for profit does is offer innovative solutions to these problems which could not be implemented by the public sector.
Yes, I acknowledge that the private sector above all else does seek profits. We know this! We are a capitalist society. However, no truly successful private organisation can have sustained profits whilst providing a poor service. Public sector organisations often can because they operate on a monopolised government mandate. Should we allow private firms to run riot in healthcare? Of course not but we can monitor and regulate them. Define the rules and ensure they know the penalties and the expectations.
And what if they deliver? You know exceptional patient care, clean facilities and smiles all around?
Then they deserve the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Dr Saif F Abed
AbedGraham Healthcare Strategies Ltd